Anti-Bullying Week 2021: One Kind Word

Anti-Bullying Week 2021 takes place between Monday 15th – Friday 19th November. Led and coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (one of Impero’s online safety partners), Anti-Bullying Week provides an opportunity for schools,…

Anti-Bullying Week 2021 takes place between Monday 15th – Friday 19th November. Led and coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (one of Impero’s online safety partners), Anti-Bullying Week provides an opportunity for schools, organisations, and individuals to raise awareness about bullying and how this issue affects lives around the world. 

The Department for Education (DfE) defines bullying as “the behaviour of an individual or group, that repeated over time, intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.” This bullying can be verbal, physical, relational, sexual, social or online (cyberbullying).   

  • This year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Week is ‘One Kind Word.’ In a world where students are hyper-focused on academics, their performance and their online personas, it’s important to remind them to be kind, not to judge and not to feel judged. One conversation, one kind word, or one act of kindness might change someone’s day.  

For Anti-Bullying Week 2021, we prepared a list of statistics and resources to help raise awareness about bullying and provide you with ideas on how you can get involved. 

Anti-Bullying research and statistics 

Last year, Impero conducted a research campaign that included a sample of 1,000 children aged 9 – 18. Here are a few key findings:  

  • One in five children have been a victim of online bullying, with 44% reporting that the bullying took place during lockdown 
  • The most common platforms for online bullying were:
      1. Facebook –29.8% 
      2. WhatsApp – 24.9% 
      3. Snapchat – 22.9% 
  • Appearance ranked top of the list for reasons for being bullied (46%), followed by an illness or disability and sexual orientation (both 11%) 
  • When asked how they dealt with it, most students (70%) said they reported it to their parents, then to the platform itself and their teachers (both 24%) 

We did further research with teachers and heard the following: 

  • Two thirds of teachers say students have reported online bullying to them
  • A fifth of teachers have been victims themselves 
  • When asked if they noticed any changes in the targeted student’s behaviour, teachers said they were quieter (59%), more withdrawn (53%) and depressed (28%) 

How can we stand against bullying and how much does ‘One Kind Word’ matter? 

As advocates for mental health and wellbeing, we understand how serious the consequences of bullying are to children and young adults. Here are 6 tips on how to minimise the impact of bullying for your students: 

  • Educate children on what bullying is. Increased awareness and knowledge on the matter can help students identify signs of harm. 
  • Encourage children to reach out. ‘One Kind Word’ is all about the power of kindness and understanding. Teach students to check up on their peers and to be kind in their interactions.  
  • Set clear and enforceable rules against bullying in your classroom. If a student breaks the rules or they are caught bullying a peer, hold them accountable. Furthermore, encourage students to uphold the rules and hold each other accountable. 
  • Keep an eye out for cyberbullying. Online communication helps build relationships and exchange information, but the risk of online bullying persists. 
  • Promote open communication. Many students will spend their school year at home, making it harder for teachers to spot signs of bullying. Therefore, having open and consistent communication with your students is key. 
  • Spot the warning signs. Have you noticed constant confrontation between two students, or have you noticed one student is isolating themselves? Maybe they struggle with attendance, concentration, sleep, or have otherwise problematic behaviour? These are just some of the warning signs of bullying to look out for. Read more here. 
  • Choose the right software to keep your students safe. Impero Wellbeing is a fully cloud-based, device-agnostic solution that provides a higher level of internet safety for students, no matter their learning environment. Learn more about how Wellbeing can help with bullying here. 

How to get involved this Anti-Bullying Week 2021 

The Anti-Bullying Alliance has prepared a large list of activities and ideas that your school can use to commemorate Anti-Bullying Week. Here are some examples: 

  • Encourage your student council to come up with ideas about how Anti-Bullying week can be celebrated. 
  • Review your organisation’s anti-bullying policy with teachers, students and parents to ensure they understand it. 
  • Use famous movies or books and give examples of bullying. Do your students recognise it, and what would they do in these situations? 
  • Encourage students to start a ‘sorry box’ for anonymous apologies.  
  • Survey students to find out more about the levels of bullying that occur in your establishment that you might not know about.  
  • 15th of November is Odd Socks Day to celebrate what makes us all unique. Celebrate which one of your students has the coolest socks! (Note: This is also a great challenge for teachers!) 
  • Join a live session by BBC Teach for Anti-Bullying Week on Monday, 15th of November at 11am GMT. Sign up here 
  • Show your support on social media by using the following hashtags: #antibullyingweek, #bullyingawareness, #onekindword, #oddsocksday 

Join us on the 16th of November at 04:00 PM London time for our webinar on Tackling online bullying: creating and maintaining a safe online environment. Charlotte Aynsley, Impero’s Safeguarding Consultant, will discuss the latest changes to safeguarding guidelines in the UK and how Impero Webcheck, our real-time content filtering software, can help IT teams and safeguarding leads work together to follow these guidelines, protect their network, safeguard students all while tackling online bullying. Book your spot here.  

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